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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

“Democrats view this year’s crop of [U. S. Senate] candidates as strong, and they say they will be bolstered by the presidential election, which often helps coax minority and younger voters to the ballot box. Many Democrats are feeling confident they will win the net five seats needed to take back the chamber. A pickup of just four seats would be enough if the Democrats also retain the presidency, because the vice president breaks ties.” – from Kristina Peterson’s “In Senate Races, Democrats See Prizes, Pitfalls: The party believes it can take control, but primary battles, recruitment pose challenges in some states” in the Wall St. Journal. Peterson quotes Sen. Chuck Schumer: “The fact that middle-class incomes are stagnating and Democrats have much better answers than Republicans, the fact that the GOP presidential race is in shambles, and the fact that we have a very good map and we have candidates to take advantage of that map all bodes very well for us taking back the Senate…”
At CNN Politics Manu Raju takes an in-depth look at developing Democratic strategy to win Rand Paul’s U.S. Senate seat and the obstacles threatening Paul as a result of his limp presidential candidacy.
Senate Democrats have unveiled the ‘Reducing Educational Debt (RED) Act,’ as an impressive pitch for the votes of millennials and their families. Key elements: 1. Opportunities to refinance federal and private student loans at a lower interest rate; 2. Indexing Pell Grant awards to inflation to insure adequate assistance; 3. Funding to “waive community college tuition and fees for eligible students before other financial aid is applied.” Senator Schumer’s soundbite pitch: Democrats will create a “path toward debt-free college.”
This Morning Consult poll shows a Michael Bloomberg independent presidential candidacy hurting Dems more than the GOP. Should Sanders win the Democratic nomination, Krugman sees a Bloomberg run as a likely path to a Trump presidency.
At NYT ‘First Draft,’ Michael Barbaro reports on presidential candidate reactions to a possible Bloomberg candidacy, including the reaction of the two leading Democrats: “The way I read what he said is, if I didn’t get the nomination we might consider it,” she [Clinton] said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”…She added: “Well, I’m going to relieve him of that and get the nomination so he doesn’t have to” run….Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, whose campaign bemoans the influence of the super rich, quickly incorporated Mr. Bloomberg’s flirtation into his message….”My reaction is, if Donald Trump wins and Mr. Bloomberg gets in, you’re going to have two multibillionaires running for president of the United States against me,” Mr. Sanders said on “Meet the Press.” “And I think the American people do not want to see our nation move toward an oligarchy, where billionaires control the political process.”
An interesting analytical nugget from the conservative GOP establishment via Mario Loyola at the National Review: “The working-class Republican voter feels he’s getting screwed from every direction: corporations, lazy people on welfare, criminals who have learned to play the victim, illegal immigrants, foreign governments, and of course the politicians who sell out to all of them. He looks at the political firmament and sees nobody who addresses his grievances, nobody who speaks like him, nobody who speaks for him. Victimized and voiceless, the Republican working-class voter had already lost faith in the party. Now he may be losing faith in democracy itself.”
Bloomberg View’s Albert R. Hunt takes a look at the potential influence of the Latino vote, and observes: “…Hispanics account for more than 5 percent of eligible voters in only three of the 10 national swing states: Colorado, Nevada and Florida. Whatever losses the party sustains among Hispanics — and Asian-Americans also turned off by anti-immigration rhetoric — will be more than offset, they believe, by the energizing of alienated white voters…” On the other hand, Hunt quotes Sen. Lindsey Graham, who warns “”Donald Trump today has an 81 percent disapproval rating with Hispanics…The Democrats will destroy this guy.”
This will be a very tough sell.
Trump video mash-ups were becoming a new art form (see here, for example) even before last week’s Palin endorsement fiasco and Trump’s “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters” tirade. The challenge for Democrats in producing a devastating viral video on Trump, should he win the nomination, will be what to leave out.

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